Stories tagged with Nicaragua

Dec 12, 2009 NI Nicaragua

By Kelly McKinnon, KF9 Leon, Nicaragua

The question is posed casually, but as all heads in the room turn to await my response, I sense that this is not a simple question. Ummm, I stammer. Rapidly wracking my brain for cultural cues or anecdotes I’ve heard on the importance of soup in Nicaragua. Nothing, I’ve got nothing. So I stall a bit more, Soup? You are asking me if I like soup?

I am sitting at the kitchen table with a coworker and her family. Her grandmother poses the question, her aunt eyes me, and my coworker and her three sisters...

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Dec 12, 2009 NI Nicaragua

By Victoria Kabak, KF9, Nicaragua

I try not to play favorites, but this week I met my favorite borrower. The borrowers I’ve liked the most so far have been those who are particularly friendly, have particularly interesting things to say, or give me food. Kenia fell into that first category, and I really enjoyed talking both to her and her younger sister-in-law, who helps Kenia make the 60 lunches she puts together every day for a nearby business. Not only did the rest of her family not look at me as if I’m an alien – which I’ve actually almost gotten used to by now! – but...

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Dec 12, 2009 NI Nicaragua

By Kelly McKinnon, KF9 Leon Nicaragua

¿Quién Causa Tanta Alegría?

¡La Concepción de María!

An exuberant young man, who I was to later understand is the Priest who hosts a Grand Purísima celebration (attended by former presidents, the bishop, the mayor and a five piece brass band), rattled off the schedule of events of the day’s celebration of La Purísima:

12:00p   Fireworks are lit all over the city to signal the beginning of the celebration.*

12:10p   Gigantona dance competition in the central plaza**

...

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Dec 12, 2009 NI Nicaragua

By Victoria Kabak, KF9, Nicaragua

Last week I met three borrowers who struck me as particularly interesting, each for a different reason. All three have been thought-provoking and have stuck with me over the course of the week. In their own way, each of the three represented a unique experience for me. Even though I’d been here for over eight weeks, Gregoria, Gloria, and Maria each presented something new, so I want to introduce you to these three women, whose loans are disbursed through the microfinance institution where I’m a Kiva Fellow, Kiva’s field...

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Dec 12, 2009 NI Nicaragua

By Kelly McKinnon, KF9, León, Nicaragua

It’s not Christmas.

90 degree days and the glow of the Nicaraguan sunlight and my celebration of Thanksgiving in the reception of a medical clinic where I was diagnosed with a stomach bacteria, (Oh the irony!) somehow make the holiday season seem far away.

And yet, I didn’t think it was Friday either. After checking my calendar, twice, I now recognize that my coworkers are not trying to trick me. And neither is the rest of Nicaragua.

Signs of the (rapidly) approaching holiday have been springing up around León and...

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Dec 12, 2009 NI Nicaragua

By Victoria Kabak, KF9, Nicaragua

Since arriving in Nicaragua for my Kiva Fellowship about two months ago, my time here has been marked by a range of new experiences. I have become surprisingly adept at pouring juice from a plastic bag into a glass. I am intimately familiar with the smell of burning garbage, the most common way trash is disposed of here in Managua. I have perfected (and passed on) the art of wagging my finger to tell a taxi driver that I don’t want to get in when he already has another passenger. And for the first time, I’ve gotten to see how...

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Nov 11, 2009 NI Nicaragua

By Meg Gray, KF9 Nicaragua

This is Part 3 of 3 in a series of blogs discussing remittances that were inspired by a recent UN Human Development Report on migration. As you will see from our posts, there are many perspectives to look at and the issue is by no means simple. I encourage you to read Part 1 posted by Rob from Kyrgyzstan and Part 2 posted by Agnes from Samoa earlier today.

Aurelia is one of many CEPRODEL clients I have met who aspires to work...

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Nov 11, 2009 NI Nicaragua

By Victoria Kabak, KF9, Nicaragua

As the holiday season fast approaches, I imagine many of you back at home are starting to make lists (checking them twice?) of presents or of people you’re going to buy presents for or even of presents you hope someone else gets you. It’s no secret that businesses in the United States – and in other countries – experience a significant uptick in sales in December.

But I’ve learned in the past few weeks that this phenomenon isn’t unique to the United States or to developed countries. Many of the borrowers I’ve met with recently have...

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Nov 11, 2009 NI Nicaragua

By Meg Gray, KF9 Nicaragua

How to describe one of the markets in Nicaragua? It’s hard and there really isn’t anything like them in the States to compare to. When I visited the Mercado Central in Chinandega, a small city that serves as a supply hub for the farms surrounding it, the heat was stifling. A few aisles are well lit with a sprinkling of fluorescent bulbs, while others are dark and cave-like. At the same time, the whole building is bursting with colors, smells, and noises. Every aisle is packed with people and very few aisles are wide enough for more than two people...

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Nov 11, 2009 NI Nicaragua

By Meg Gray, KF9 Nicaragua

It rained all weekend in Managua. It rained because of Tropical Storm/Hurricane Ida, which hit Nicaragua’s Atlantic coast on Thursday. You may have heard about Ida because your saw it on the news or read about it in the paper. Or maybe, like me, you learned about it via an alert from the US Embassy in Nicaragua. In my mind, Embassy Alerts are code for “things to start worrying about if you aren’t already.” Written in a calm, informative tone, the alerts are as alarming as they are pertinent. In my five weeks in Nicaragua, I have received alerts on...

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